Focus: Isaiah 45:22-25 Turn to me so you can be delivered, all you who live in the earth’s remote regions! For I am God, and I have no peer. I solemnly make this oath- what I say is true and reliable: ‘Surely every knee will bow to me, every tongue will solemnly affirm; they will say about me, “Yes, the LORD is a powerful deliverer.”’” All who are angry at him will cower before him. All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the LORD and will boast in him.
Reading this promise that God gave to His people is stunning. God is making his case against His people’s infidelity, but even as he presents His case, he pleads with them to return to Him. Israel was an idolatrous nation. They worshipped idols and their hearts were preoccupied with other gods- Baal and Ashera. But the Lord demonstrates that there is no other true God besides Him. He is God alone. He has no peer. Yet, while Israel was unfaithful, He did not completely reject them. In fact, he pursued His people.
The God of Israel was great and merciful to His people. Even while their hearts wandered, He had great patience when they rebelled. Not only that, but God went after His people when they walked away from Him. He went after them like a lover who goes after his bride. God promised that Israel’s great affair with other gods would one day come to an end. She would be vindicated by the Lord and boast in Him. What does that mean?
Israel’s sin brought her into severe bondage. It ruined her. Yet, the Lord was compassionate and had a special love for His people- even when they went in directions that were not life giving. Even when His people rebelled against Him, God pursued them with His great love. Why? So that they would boast in Him.
There is nothing more life changing than when a person has messed up and has nowhere else to go. Their life is in chaos and there is no hope. And then another who is compassionate and merciful reaches out to that person who is hopelessly dead in their tracks. The guilty person is pardoned and accepted. The shame is gone, and the one who extended the hand is seen as a hero and deliverer who can be trusted. That is what God did for His people Israel. Ultimately he did it through the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2 says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father. Jesus Christ is God’s hand reaching out to His people. His death on the cross is the sacrifice that vindicates anyone who trusts in Him. No matter what we have done in life, God has still pursued us. He is the great Lover who pursues His people so that they will live in a way that brings life. It begins by accepting Jesus extended hand, releasing guilt and shame, and boasting in Him- the great Lover and Pursuer of our life.
Below is a video about what a Lover IS NOT: